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27 April 2012
Over 270 members of Unite, working for Imperial Tobacco in Nottingham, will be taking part in a seven-day overtime ban and work to rule from midnight Monday, 30 April over the company's decision to make them pay part of the 'workplace parking levy'.
Nottingham City Council (NCC) has begun charging up to £288 annually per car via the workplace parking levy – a levy on 'employers' that provide workplace parking. Unite believes multi-national tobacco giant Imperial Tobacco can easily afford to pay this levy, but is instead burdening its workforce with an extra charge which they can ill-afford.
Unless Imperial Tobacco removes this unacceptable levy from its workers, the seven-day overtime ban will followed by indefinite work-to-rule.
Unite national officer, Jennie Formby, said: “The council has imposed this levy on employers and it is the company's responsibility – not its workers. The fact that this mega-rich multinational tobacco company is refusing to pay this parking levy and is instead passing some of it on to its workers has angered our members who are not prepared to pay Imperial's taxes.
“Imperial Tobacco is one of the wealthiest companies in Nottingham and should be leading the way on this issue, but has instead chosen to sit alongside the worst employers by trying to pass off its obligations onto the workers.
“Unless there is a negotiated settlement suitable to our members, they will take industrial action including an indefinite work to rule. We have indicated a willingness to talk further, including through ACAS, but the company has refused to meet to try to resolve this dispute, showing contempt for the workers.
“Once again, we call on Imperial Tobacco to think again and reconsider this unfair levy on its workers and get back around the table.”
277 Unite members voted in the ballot with 75 percent voting in favour of industrial action. GMB members are also taking part in the industrial action.